21 May 2012

Namibia: Arrows Survive the Axe in a Weekend of Draws

Walvis Bay — An individual piece of magic by Enrico Hoëbeb, helped Eleven Arrows to retain their MTC Premiership League status in their relegation dogfight against fellow basement-dwellers United Stars at the Kuisebmund Stadium in Walvis Bay on Saturday.

The nimble-footed youngster came off the substitutes' bench to score the club's most important goal of the season in the 77th minute of an otherwise lacklustre match played under unfriendly windy conditions.

Both teams threw all caution to the wind at the very outset and subsequently the action was mainly confined to a huff and puff affair as no team wanted to take the risk of conceding a first goal.

The first genuine goal-scoring chance fell to the hosts after Immanuel Angolo found himself unmarked in the penalty area only to direct his tame header into the waiting hands of United goalkeeper Katukula Nalisa - much to the chagrin of Arrows supporters.

The hosts were presented with another chance to take the lead, but Zimbabwean import Peter Ngwenya was off target from close range with the goal posts at his mercy. However, Angolo atoned for his earlier miss when he delivered a teasing cross from the left flank, which first appeared to have been easily gathered by Nalisa.

But for some strange reason, the butter-fingered shot-stopper dropped the ball at the waiting feet of Ngwenya, who was handed the easiest of tap-ins, to give Arrows the much deserved lead with 5 minutes left before the changeover (1-0).

The 2nd half continued in the same vein and the half-decent number of spectators who defied the chilly weather to witness what was billed a clash of the titans were subjected to a display of mediocre football during the final 45 minutes.

The contest was finally put to bed when substitute Hoëbeb dribbled through a cluster of back-tracking defenders to slot in the game's decisive goal that sent the hundreds of gold- and maroon-clad Arrows supporters into rapture with 13 minutes remaining on the clock (2-0).

It proved to be a very good weekend for the sea-siders, as LHU Blue Waters ended a near faultless second round display with a 3-1 away win over already relegated Hotspurs at the Khomasdal Stadium in Windhoek.

The Birds' speedy striker Henry "Ballack" Somaeb, netted a brace sandwiched by Foresta Tjijauua's strike, while the league's joint top-scorer Richard Kavendjii pulled off a consolation goal for the Sowetan to finish the season level with Jerome Louis (BA) on 12 goals each.

Wesbank Tigers and African Stars cancelled each other out in a 1-all stalemate at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. After a goalless opening half, the Reds took the lead via the boot of Ikuaterua Tjozongoro, but the lead was to be short-lived as Pineas "Heel Extension" Jacob, brought the teams on level terms again from the penalty spot, giving Ingweinyama a share of the spoils.

Across town, Jerome "the Crocodile" Louis' lone strike was enough to give champions Black Africa a 1-0 win against 2nd placed Civics at Windhoek's Independence Stadium.

Ramblers and FNB Orlando Pirates could only manage a dull goalless draw at the Ramblers field, while the match between Cymot Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW) and Mighty Gunners also ended with an identical score line at the SKW Stadium to complete proceedings as the curtain finally came down on the MTC Premiership League 2011/2012 campaign.

A total of 255 goals were scored during the 2011/2012 season with 8 of them coming in the last round. Undisputed champions Black Africa boast the highest number of goals with 41 goals to their credit, while relegated United Stars have the least number of goals with a paltry 15 amassed in 1880 minutes of action.

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